Every kitchen needs a chef's knife (or cook's knife). It's worth spending a little more to get a good one, because they can be used for so many cutting tasks that you'll wonder why you ever thought you needed an entire knife set.
Some cooks use nothing but a chef's knife, although for most people adding a serrated knife and perhaps a smaller paring knife to the arsenal will serve you well.
The Oriental Slicer from IO Shen is neither a classical Western chef's knife, nor a Santoku, but it really is a jack-of-all-trades, and a master of several. Its width and weight help make short work of thick root vegetables, while the curve to the blade makes it ideal for 'rock-chopping' herbs or smaller items such as garlic and chillies. Once everything is chopped, you can use the broad blade to scoop everything up to add to the pan.
The blade has the cutting angle of a Japanese knife which means that it's super sharp, while the construction of the blade, with a hard layer of stainless steel sandwiched between two slightly softer layers, helps it to stay sharp for longer. Oh, and it looks great, too.
Maintenance is simple – we recommend using a honing rod every now and then, storing it carefully away from other knives and cutlery, and hand washing only. It should then give you years, if not decades, of pleasurable slicing.
Check out the best prices for the IO Shen Oriental Slicer below, or take a look at our best chef's knife buying guide for more buying tips and product recommendations.